The Liminalist # 273: Tuning to Rudy (with Dale Brunsvold)

Episode one of two-part conversation with Dale Brunsvold on Rudolf Steiner, initiates & clairvoyants, & the ins and outs of anthropods.

Part One: The Evolution of Consciousness (0 – 30 mins)

Old Icarus, the retreating ground, Icarus & Lucifer, the urge to leave the earth, Jasun’s Lucifer period, what angels’ wings are for, conversational gold, that’s different abut Steiner, Castaneda at 17, Jung & Gurdjieff, coming home to Steiner, the evolution of consciousness, spiritual high-concepts, Steiner & different cultures, 1912 Helsinki, freedom as spiritual activity, thought & the nature of the I, 430 books, chalkboard drawings, Steiner’s death, hip Steiner in 1879, tuning into Rudy

Part Two: An Ego Holding the Void (30 – 59 mins)

Tales of Crowley & Gurdjieff, an evolutionary leap in plant life, metamorphosizing consciousness, Steiner pedagogy, children’s teeth, the unsheathing of the etheric body, Piaget & the inception of logical thought, the cosmic wisdom of ancient man, is it true?, Dave Oshana retreats, Steiner’s stories, the different bodies’ organs of perception, let’s talk about the mind, the god of science, a clairvoyant & an initiate, seeing him seeing us, a world of lies, battling with Maya, accessing the Akashic records, the best of story tellers.

Part Three: The Imagination of the Organs (59 mins – end)

Shortcut of knowledge, alternate meditations, a picture of selflessness, the highest good, Christ-Lucifer dyad, wisdom and love, an avenging angel, the hard edge of consciousness, defining clairvoyance, the imagination of the organs, a field rife with error, trauma & psychism, Steiner & humility, a duty to masters, a public life, defining initiation, imaginative cognition vs intuitive & inspirational cognition, plant medicine, the many levels of master.

Rudolf Steiner Audios

Songs: “Primitive,” “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine,” “Memories Can’t Wait,” & “Chasing Time” by Joy Zipper; “My Ground Brakes Crank” by Tendon Levey.

19 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 273: Tuning to Rudy (with Dale Brunsvold)”

  1. Jasun, I really enjoyed this interview with Dale and from the opening Icarus poem to your revelations about Lucifer, I realized that both you and Dale entered the Steiner Temple through the “Lucifer Gate.” For my part, I entered via the “Ahriman Gate,” which simply means different angles of approach to the same reality.

    When Dale asked you about the organ of perception of the human ego or “I”, he was challenging you to distinguish dwelling in your own subjective thoughts from the activity of thinking itself. I felt you suddenly realized the difference in your response. Thus I’d like to inspire you further with this quote from Chapter 4 of Steiner’s Philosophy of Freedom, which he published in 1894.

    …thinking must never be regarded as merely a subjective activity. Thinking lies beyond subject and object. It produces these two concepts just as it produces all others.

    When, therefore, I, as thinking subject, refer a concept to an object, we must not regard this reference as something purely subjective. It is not the subject that makes the reference, but thinking.

    The subject does not think because it is a subject; rather it appears to itself as a subject because it can think.

    The activity exercised by thinking beings is thus not merely subjective. Rather is it something neither subjective nor objective, that transcends both these concepts.

    I ought never to say that my individual subject thinks, but much more that my individual subject lives by the grace of thinking.

    (I have more observations to make but I think I’ll do them in separate comments and that will lead to less clutter in the responses.)

  2. Evolution of consciousness has to be taken as sort of a given, a belief, that’s unverifiable – unless you’re Steiner. He had mobility in consciousness to see across time.
    I can’t know how the world, the state consciousness , of the Egyptians was – other then indirectly through someone like Steiner.

    Saying this the heart of descontent pushes up through self not leaving me alone where I sit. What is this but not the soul saying “you are not done yet” .
    There may not be more proofs then that feeling . these things are not like rocks found in the garden.

    One thing that seems obvious to me is spirituality without evolution or value fulfillment has no legs

    I throw this out there as only possibility – let’s call it a theory.
    In any case, this inquiry of yours ,Steiner , is fascinating, gets at the core…drilling down , down down

  3. This seems to be congruent with philosophical Idealism..
    In Bernardo Castrup’s rigourous, modern take on that, we are “dissociated alters” of universal consciousness / “mind at large” …
    Therefore (in this view), the source of are being is hidden from us by the nature of our subjective experience… (Dave O: what is the source?)

    • I would also say that ultimately I find philosophical Idealism unsatisfactory as a picture of reality… But it could be one harmonic route, in the form of a framework / scaffolding, that allows one into Steiner’s more satisfying “stories”….
      I’ll be continueing to test that hypothesis as I become more familiar with Steiner’s work… — the scaffolding destined to become redundant one way or another…

        • Hi Bonce, yes, I like your idea of the scaffolding. And I have corresponded on Twitter with Bernardo Kastrup and his idealistic compadre Donald Hoffman about their idealism being a step on the way to what I could call Steiner’s Enlightenment Transmission in the sentence I highlighted to Jasun above.

          It’s amazing to see thinkers like Kastrup and Hoffman feeling their way to a reality that Steiner already covered 130 years ago!!! Steiner not only delineated what today is called the “hard problem of consciousness” and he solved it!

          And he did it all when he was in the freewheeling atheistic anarchic phase of his life, a full decade before his experience of the Mystery of Golgotha in 1899, which I see not as a conversion to any kind of Christianity, but a logical consequence of his Philosophy of Freedom, which, as Dale pointed out, he specified should be called the Philosophy of Spiritual Activity for the English-speaking world.

          • Thanks Tom, interesting. The scaffolding metaphor is “borrowed” (read: “stolen”) from Martin!

            I’m trying to keep Jasun’s advice at the end of the first Rudy pod in mind — can see how there’s a danger in getting carried away with these ideas, thereby turning the material into an Ahrimanic shadow of what it is (apparently) intended to be… Jasun’s advice to relate to the Stories through your own “felt sense” seems a good way to go..

            Looking forward to the second part of this pod…
            A couple of things have already “come together” for me (in terms of my own felt senses, research and interest in Jasun’s work) through this “tuning to Rudy”… I hope it’s not some form of selection/confirmation bias!

  4. This is a show I could only hope for in my wildest dreams. Thank you both.

    Now, if I could get Neil Kramer to do a Roamcast where he only talks about playing guitar…

    I just want to recommend Dale’s reading of Goethe’s Color Theory (can be found on the homepage) as well the Steiner CW347-350 where he took questions from members of the Goetheanum.

  5. To bring some needed comic relief to the discussion of anthroposophy which always gets too god-awful serious, I would like to offer you here a Gilbert & Sullivan parody I composed in 2012. It is also a serious summary of most principles of Steiner’s “spiritual science” as I have grokked it over the past 45 years.


    I am the very model of a modern Anthroposophist,
    I’ve information mineral, etheric, astral, egoist.
    Atlantis and Lemuria, the Mystery of Golgotha,
    With Ahriman and Lucifer, the science of the spiritual.

    Atlantis and Lemuria, the Mystery of Golgotha,
    With Ahriman and Lucifer, the science of the spiritual.

    I visit Dornach every year as if it were the Vatican
    The Goetheanum is my temple though I am American
    I don’t know that much German but I want to keep on learnin’
    And my heart is really yearnin’ knowin’ Steiner is returnin’.

    He doesn’t know much German but he wants to keep on learnin’
    And his heart is really yearnin’ knowin’ Steiner is returnin’.

    I want to save the world from Ahriman and his materialism
    But then I get so caught up in my Luciferic egotism
    I never know what I should do, the feelings that I should imbue
    What Steiner says, it must be true. The Christ Impulse? I have no clue!

    He never knows what he should do, the feelings that he should imbue
    What Steiner says, it must be true. The Christ Impulse? He has no clue!
    In short, in matters mineral, etheric, astral, egoist
    He is the very model of a modern Anthroposophist.

    I see the elementals in the forest when I meditate
    The gnomes and sylphs and undines, salamanders in the aggregate.
    I don’t know what they want of me, this might just be insanity
    But Steiner teaches me to see behind the veil of reality.

    I don’t know what they want of me, this might just be insanity
    But Steiner teaches me to see behind the veil of reality.

    I’ve done the exercises to attain my equanimity
    But when a critic comes around in any close proximity
    I hesitate and vacillate, I complicate and obfuscate
    Deflect that Steiner said it — hey, that’s all I can communicate.

    He hesitates and vacillates, he complicates and obfuscates
    Deflects that Steiner said it — hey, that’s all he can communicate.
    In short, in matters mineral, etheric, astral, egoist,
    He is the very model of a modern Anthroposophist.

    Philosophy of Freedom is a book I’ve never, ever read
    To think about my thinking makes me sick and achy in the head
    I’d rather reincarnate as a woman or a refugee
    Than ever have to read a book about epistemology.

    He’d rather reincarnate as a woman or a refugee
    Than ever have to read a book about epistemology.

    [slower tempo here, getting wistful]

    The three-fold nature of the human being is a mystery . . .
    And so are all the moves and gestures that I make eurythmically. . . .
    The critics tell me Steiner is a madman and a racist, too. . . .
    His medicine is quackery, his claims of science just woo woo. . . .
    But all I care about is finding which of four’s my temperament, . ..
    So I can know my destiny and finally reach enlightenment . . .

    [back to quick tempo for finale]

    I don’t know if I’m sanguine or choleric, melancholic
    So I must be a phlegmatic ‘cause I am a chocoholic.

    He doesn’t know if sanguine or choleric, melancholic
    So he must be a phlegmatic ‘cause he is a chocoholic.

    In short in matters mineral, etheric, astral, egoist
    I am the very model of a modern Anthroposophist.

    In short, in matters mineral, etheric, astral, egoist
    He is the very model of a modern Anthroposophist.

  6. Jasun,

    Your intuitive sense of the dyad between Christ and Lucifer is spot on according to Steiner. It is the essence of ancient spiritual wisdom. In fact, when once asked for a pithy description of anthroposophy, Steiner defined it as the “Wisdom of Lucifer.” He also called it “Lucifer Gnosis.”

    But such wisdom is useless unless it is brought into the present-day world. Otherwise, it remains locked up in the museum, maybe even crypt of history. So the dyad gives way to the triad. Now you did mention in passing the 3rd member of this triad who is Ahriman. So let’s see how Steiner sees evolution move along past the dyad. From Lucifer incarnating in China in 3000 BC to Christ incarnating in Jesus to Ahriman incarnating most likely in the USA during our time.

    I quote from Lecture 1 in a cycle called The Influences of Lucifer and Ahriman, given in Dornach on November 1, 1919, GA 191

    To the many things we have learned about the evolution of humanity, this knowledge too must be added: that just as there was the incarnation which culminated in Golgotha, the incarnation of Christ in the man Jesus of Nazareth, there was an actual incarnation of Lucifer in far-off Asia [China], in the 3rd millennium B.C.

    And the source of inspiration for much ancient culture was what can only be described as an earthly incarnation of Lucifer in a man of flesh and blood. Even Christianity, even the Mystery of Golgotha as enacted among human beings, was understood at first by the only means then available, namely the old luciferic wisdom.

    The one-sidedness of the gnosis, for all its amazing profundity, stems from the influence that had spread from this Lucifer incarnation over the whole of the ancient world. The significance of the Mystery of Golgotha cannot be fully grasped without the knowledge that rather less than 3,000 years previously, there had been the incarnation of Lucifer.

    In order that the luciferic inspiration might be lifted away from its one-sidedness, there came the incarnation of Christ and with it the impulse for the education and development of European civilization and its American offshoot.

    But since the middle of the 15th century, since the impulse for the development of individuality, of personality, has been at work, this phase of evolution has also contained within it certain forces whereby preparation is being made for the incarnation of another super-sensible Being.

    Just as there was an incarnation of Lucifer in the flesh and an incarnation of Christ in the flesh, so, before only a part of the 3rd millennium of the post-Christian era has elapsed, there will be, in the West, an actual incarnation of Ahriman: Ahriman in the flesh. Humanity on earth cannot escape this incarnation of Ahriman. It will come inevitably. But what matters is that people shall find the right vantage point from which to confront it.

    • Hi Tom,
      Much impressed by your autobiographical “Modern Anthroposophist” So impresed be I that I will probably publish it in the next issue of (I’m not asking for your permission; if you don’t like it, so sue me awready.) What I would like is a short description of its Gilbert and Sullivan genesis amd a short bio (your own).

      • Thanks, Frank! I like the idea of the song being my autobiography, but you still need a real biography blurb to go with it.

        If you go to the blog page

        You can copy the introduction I made because it does contain some Anthro-speak, but I will add bio details for you. And Jasun, please note that in my notes here I mention the year 1879 because that was the year of the debut of Pirates of Penzance on Broadway in NYC!!!!

        Ladies and gentlemen of the Steiner Internet Universe!

        I humbly offer you now the opening lyrics of an anthroposophical song parody that I have composed. Again, with all bashfulness and modesty, I must say that it is a song parody of the deepest and most profound “World Historical Significance” (WHS) in the entire evolutionary development of humanity in the modern world to date.

        Why is this event of such deep WHS? Because the original song that I have parodied was performed at its New York City premiere on Broadway in 1879, yes, indeed, 1879 AD, in the very same year that the guiding spirit of anthroposophy, the Archangel Mi-cha-el was promoted from his hierarchical level of Archangel to the next level office of Archai or Time Spirit, i.e. Zeitgeist.

        The music for the original song was created by the British composer of Irish-Italian descent, Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842–1900) and the lyrics created by famed librettist, Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (1836–1911).

        The song I have parodied is from their most popular opera “The Pirates of Penzance.”

        and is entitled “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General.”


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